The 4th Course, The Foodies Thread

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Postby Cock-Robin » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:12 am

Yep, English food is great! Beef Wellington, Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips, so long as you stay away from stuff like Marmite or Gentlemen's Paste.
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Postby rwhen » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:22 am

Actually there was a time with English food was rather bland and boring. But these days the area is rich with Curry, Indian, Asian and other expansion food markets. Much different England than the old days.

Ayslhyn who posts here from time to time is a great cook and has great diversity in his likes and dislikes and is certainly from England.

I think it is just a joke that is still be circulated, but out dated. ;)
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Postby Morwenna » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:45 am

It's funny, but I have a book about English food, written by an expatriate Englishwoman back around 1960, and she makes their local cuisine sound absolutely mouth-watering. And she gives reasons why it's so looked-down-on, but not being home at the moment I can't quote anything. But remember this was before the influx of other cuisines so prevalent in recent decades. She was talking about country home cooking, of course.
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Postby Frelga » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:27 am

Oh, I loved the food in London! I was fortunate to have local TORCers to direct me to a few good eateries for group dinner, but even random places ranged from decent and up. The butter, the milk, the cream! That's my other pet peeve - for some reason it's really hard to find good milk products in the U.S. At least we are catching up with bread and organic produce.

Rwhen-darlin', I don't even go to McD here! Last time I was to a fast food place was about 7 years ago. And it was Wendy's. I certainly would not step into one in Rome. Although I don't have particularly fond memories of Roman food, except for bread and milk. Of my few European trips, it's the Spanish food that left the best memories.

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Postby RoseMorninStar » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:14 am

The bread in Europe (well, I can only speak for England & Scotland) is SO good.. so much better than it is here in the States. I've been told it has something to do with the flour.. the type of wheat.. or the way it is milled. It is different than the flour here.

We didn't stop at any fast food places while we were in Britain and I enjoyed almost all of the food we were served. Many lovely deserts with custard sauces.. yum.
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Postby JudyA » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:49 am

rwhen wrote: ROME???? Even if fast food is one billion times better over seas, if I am in ROME I am going to partake of the gorgeous food offerings that Italy has to tempt me with. :D



Boy, am I with you!!! And while the standard food that your average person in the burbs in the UK might eat, there is brilliant produce there and fabulous places to eat if you know where to go - or have a little time to look :)



Had friends over for a BBQ today to watch the AFL (Australian Rules Football) grand final (see this link if you want to know how the game works - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpCf1h6LLt0 - and btw the team in red and white is my team :) )

So, lunch: two types of sausage (beef, lamb and mint) rump steak, corn on the cob, salad with raspberry balsamic dressing, sliced tomatoes with basil and olive oil/balsamic, lovely sourdough bread with olives in it, plus of course the obligatory beer (although I had a riesling - I think beer is evil :D ).

We also stocked up on sweet treats from our local Greek bakery - bougatsa (cinnamon custard encased in sweet filo pastry), shortcrust slices crammed with jam, and little slips of vanilla sponge sandwiched together with chocolate butter cream and covered in chocolate.

Needless to say I don't reckon I'm going to need much dinner :roll: :)
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Postby Vanaladiel » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:56 am

Well we did not have the shrimp fried rice that I was so ready for. But we did have Fresh veggie and chicken wraps with avocado and tomatoes with some shredded cheese and green leafy lettuce. They were good on large flour tortillas, toasted in the pan. YUM!!!
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Postby JudyA » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:20 pm

Sounds nice :)

I thought I got away with all I ate yesterday but my body started divorcing me after breakfast (which was just toast and juice, btw). Stomach cramp for hours, which was awkward as I was leading the singing at church. Anyway, settling down now, thankfully - helped in the past half hour or so by Poppy (my cat, for those who don't know) curling up on my stomach to keep it warm. :D

Will take it very carefully on the food front for the rest of the day. We are having an early dinner before taking the family to see Mary Poppins (my birthday present to the Little Fairy) and I reckon it'll either be a poached egg or homemade pumpkin soup for me. Easy does it...
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:36 pm

Ah, yes, Mary Poppins. I just love that movie. I hope your tummy likes you again soon. :)
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Postby Frelga » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:27 pm

Judy, aw, tummy troubles are miserable things. Hope you get to enjoy yourself, even with just the poached egg.

I did have the parents and ILs over after all. I'm still hobbling, but I mostly planted myself in the kitchen, and my son did the fetch-and-carry, and also some of the cooking while hubby set the table. We made roasted turkey breast (yay convection oven!), a sweet potato bake, and pasta sauteed with tomatoes and kale, plus a Greek salad by DH. MIL brought an apple-honey cake, and my mom got smoked fish and other tasty stuff from the Russian deli.

And now, someone else can do Thanksgiving. :D But maybe I will anyway. DS is so much help in the kitchen that it's hardly any trouble.
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Postby portia » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:55 am

My father's side of the family was very English: roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, stews, trifles, etc. About the only thing we didn't make was meat pies. I discovered them at Scottish Festivals and on trips to the UK. Lovely! The good English food I had was not bland. It was not spicy, but browning, adding onions, gravies, etc. made it quite good.

I also like the influence of "colonial(?)" food, such as curries and Chinese food. But pre-influx English food was good, in the hands of a good cook, and appropriate to the climate.
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Postby Morwenna » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:17 am

Since I'm at home, I have the book here that I mentioned the other day: The Good Fare and Cheer of Old England by Joan Parry Dutton, copyright 1960. Fascinating reading.

Hubby wanted to hold Thanksgiving dinner for his family here this year, and we broached the subject to his brother's family a few months ago (and reminded them a couple times). But now they're balking, partly because they're not sure if someone in his wife's family will protest (it's usually at his brother's house, or at his brother's sister-in-law's), partly because a couple members of the family can't take prolonged exposure to the cats (which are indoor cats and we only have 5 rooms). So now hubby is making noises about having our own dinner anyway and inviting a few friends who are usually alone for Thanksgiving. We've done that once before and had a good time; this year we'd invite the same friends with a couple additions. I guess now it depends on whether BIL decides to have dinner and wants us to come. Frankly it'd be cool to have dinner here anyway; we often have an abbreviated Thanksgiving dinner on another day just for us, but it is fun to pull out all the stops and have enough people to share the results to make the effort worthwhile. That means about half a dozen side dishes and at least 3 desserts! :D I have enough gear to make a pretty big splash at entertaining. All we need is guests!!
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Postby Frelga » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:32 pm

What's the address, again? ;)
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Postby JudyA » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:16 pm

All back to normal now, thank heavens - and Mary Poppins was a truckload of fun - she flew over the audience at the end of the show!!! Amazing...

Portia, it's perfectly okay to talk about the curries etc as being an influx from former colonial times - India was part of the British Empire for a long time, although China wasn't. Australia still is, though (!), so when certain types of Brit want to be condescending we get referred to as "colonials". I reckon our food, wine and weather is better anyway, so they can call it what they want - we've got the better end of the deal over here... pavlova, anyone? ;)
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Postby hamlet » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:34 am

The only actual cooking I managed over the weekend was a big pot of braised pork and saurkraut that turned out to be fabulous served with some toasted pumpernickle bread. Not precisely good for you food, but not terrible with the amount of fat and salt that I've cut out of the recipe. Definately a once in a long while thing, though.

I also managed to make a batch of Apple Cinnamon Bars for the office. Astonishingly bad for you when you get right down to it, but very tasty, and vanished without a belch this morning. I begin to wonder if these people actually eat anything outside of the office, or if they're like large hibernating animals that build up a store of fat for a long winter sleep or something. Or maybe they just like my baking better than they like that of their own or their spouse's.

Tonight, I'm going to put together a batch of beef, beer, and barley stew. It'll take three hours, which means a bit of a late night, but it'll taste good. Especially with the advent of the cooler weather again. Actually had to break out the heavier blankets again this weekend as the temperatures drop. Something warm and hearty will keep the toes warm after I crawl into bed.
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Postby rwhen » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:32 am

Hello foodies!! Looks like a yummy weekend. :D

JudyA...I assume that the Mary Poppins you saw was a stage play? How fun for you and the daughter. :D Very happy to read that your tummy has settled now. But the BBQ for the game really sounded excellent. :D Lovely Greek desserts ta boot.

Frelga, you made almost a full Thanksgiving meal for the visiting family. :D Bet it was delicious. :D Hope that the blisters have improved. :hug:

hamlet, your braised pork sounds lovely. And the weather has turned here too. So I also made a hearty soup this weekend. Beans and ham, very good and stick to your ribs.

Vanadarlin', healthy wrap there. :D

Morwenna, good luck sorting the Thanksgiving meal out with the family and friends. Tricky on this end for the same reasons...tradition is hard to break.

portia, I think that the typical "sunday roasts" in England are still just as usual as ever, but with the other influences really taking hold. I adore a typical Sunday roast!!

Rose, I agree on the bread, but to me what Frelga said is also true, the butter, creams, milk, all so rich and delicious in Europe. I don't know what the difference is, but I love it.

Tonight I have some ground beef hanging in the fridge that I need to cook off. I was thinking of shepherds pie. Or tacos. :P :D

Bon Appitit!!
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:40 am

We bought so many groceries on Saturday it was ridiculous. But partly it was to get the meat to make the things we bought the veggies for last week. :) Today I think hubby's going to make the stuffed cabbage rolls. After those are gone it'll be moussaka; we got some beautiful eggplant last weekend at a farm stand. And there's a Mexican layered dip in our future as well.

Yesterday's brunch was spinach, feta & mushroom frittata with cheese grits and Spam. Last night it was cheese & crackers!

And I ran out of the house without packing any food today, and only now did I remember there's half a frittata in the fridge, and half of that would have been breakfast! We're working on the second banana bread now too. I really need to crawl out of the sack earlier; heaven knows I'm awake early enough. But as has been pointed out, it's chillier now and bed is sooo nice and warm... :)

ETA: Last Friday we had an end-of-year picnic in the office: meat (burgers and hot dogs) provided by the bosses, the rest potluck by us. We had salads, baked beans, desserts, all kinds of stuff. So supper was minimal.
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Postby hamlet » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:59 am

Stupid update: I've come to a decision or two.

1. Sometime during the upcoming weekend, I will be making a big pot of barley soup with de-hulled (but not pearled) barley and ground turkey. More stuff to add to the freezer.

2. Either Saturday, or perhaps Sunday, I'll be making a marvelous home made Saurbraten with nice German style red cabbage, spatzle, and perhaps some other vegetable. Broccali Rabe perhaps. I don't know what I could do that would fit the theme, but it needs something green to balance the plate.

Now all I have to do is go find a great big pot roast . . .
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Postby Morwenna » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:01 am

We passed up a deal on a pot roast a couple days ago because we have so much else to cook up first!
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Postby Swordsman_Of_The_Tower » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:15 am

Someone on the west coast drive up to Vancouver, grab me a Japadog, then fly it over here for my lunch would you please?

I miss those things dearly :D
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